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Four Little Beans
by John Ramsay & Victor Farelli


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Four Little Beans by John Ramsay & Victor Farelli

Excerpt from the foreword:

Unless I am mistaken, the routine explained in this modest little volume is the first sleight of hand trick I learned. I was then at school - over sixty years ago - and as I have been performing it constantly ever since, I have had, obviously, a lot of practice!

Although I have always done the trick fairly well, I have added, quite recently, a number of improvements which make it, I think, a routine not unworthy of the attention of any close-work magician.

Broadly speaking, it is similar in effect to the Chinese Marble Trick described by Edwin Sachs in his famous work, Sleight of Hand. But as the basic 'move' explained by Sachs - namely, pushing up a marble into view on top of the closed fist - is not used in any stage in the routine, the conjurers in the audience are completely thrown off the scent, and, in the majority of cases, they have not the faintest idea of how the trick is really worked. This is due to the fact that they are on the lookout for a sleight that is never employed by me. Needless to mention, the only originality claimed is for certain subtleties that I have introduced in the working of this trick which, old as it is, seems to be very little known among present-day magicians.


The performer removes a small bottle from his pocket, opens it and pours four white beans onto the table. Immediately picking them up, he lays them on the palm of his left hand. With his right hand, he places one bean behind the lobe of each ear. The two beans that remain are put, separately, into the conjurer's eyes. After suitable byplay, the four beans appear, one by one, between his lips. From there, they are allowed to fall, separately, into his hand. They are then thrown onto the table, showing that four beans only are used. Finally, they are picked up and dropped into the bottle.

    • Section I. Preliminary
    • Section II. Disposal of the Beans
    • Section III. Reappearance of the Beans

1st edition 1948, 19 pages; PDF 17 pages.
word count: 3406 which is equivalent to 13 standard pages of text